I made a few home visits to incoming 6th graders this week. It takes some time, but I always find it more than worth it to connect with kids on their own "turf," so-to-speak; I get to give them my undivided attention and demonstrate that I truly care about them as individuals. This year, there were also a few other, added benefits to my home visits.
At one house, near the end of our visit, an eleven-year-old cherub reached into his shorts pocket and surprised both his mom and me by announcing, "And I.....have a gift I want you to have!" She and I exchanged nervous glances; Lord only knew what could come out of the pocket of an eleven-year-old boy, right? Low and behold, out came two rolled up dollar bills (which had clearly been through the clothes dryer in his shorts). As he held them out to me, I exclaimed cautiously, "Wow, Mom--What do you think of that?!"
I wasn't really sure what to do--This lad was demonstrating a social skill deficit, sort of; I mean, who doesn't love gifts, let alone gifts of cash? Should I say Thank you and demonstrate proper social skills when someone offers a gift, or should I risk offending him by politely declining his offer and teaching him about the appropriateness of bribing your teachers? (JK, of course.) I deferred to his mother, who skillfully adlibbed, "What a nice thought! I think Mrs.4444 should take that money to gas station to buy a drink on her way home, since her water bottle is empty and she has such a bad cold." I decided to follow suit by offering a return gift--my pen. So cute.
Receiving a gift at a home visit was a first for me, but there must be something in the air, because at the next house, I also received a gift. First, the lad (I'll call him Shawn.) proudly shared his report card from last spring. Then he introduced me to his pride and joy, a pet cat. After that, he shared photos of his beloved yellow lab, who passed away two years ago. Later, he walked me out to what can only be described as part of an old cemetery, in his back yard. He showed me where he and his brother buried his dog, beneath a statue of the Virgin Mary. (I know, right? Clearly, this boy is a sensitive lad, and I consider it a gift; to have been taken on this personal tour.)
But that's not the only gift I received from Shawn. Can you guess what it is? (and no, it's not the highlighter)
School starts for me on the 28th, but I'll have a few days to ease into the school year, with students not arriving until the 4th.
And so begins the shift-change in the blogging world, when parents of kids heading back to school can finally relax and enjoying poking around blogs and writing consistently again, and I head back to the classroom, where I find plenty of blog fodder but less time to keep up with blog reading.
Let's not rush into these things, though; I still have time to decide what to do with my emu egg
....and my two bucks!